German Of The Day: Bündnisfall

That means casus foederis in Latin. OK, OK, and that means a “case for the alliance.” The NATO alliance, that is. Article 5. And that’s the case we have in Paris right now.


The Islamic State just attacked us. This isn’t rocket science, folks.

The coordinated terror attacks across Paris that left more than 120 dead and hundreds wounded have prompted calls for global intervention from France’s allies against the Islamic State group, which took responsibility for the attacks. As world leaders decried the attacks as an “act of war” and international media trumpeted the arrival of World War III, security experts said Saturday a perfect storm could be brewing for an invocation of the NATO’s Article 5, the clause declaring an attack against one ally to be an attack against all.

“Das war ein Kriegsakt einer feindlichen Armee, des ‘Islamischen Staates,'” Wir befinden uns im Krieg mit dem ‘Islamischen Staat'”

Sweden… Austria… Germany?

I don’t want to be offenceve here Angie, but I think it’s time to pull the ripcord.


How Sweden, the most open country in the world, was overwhelmed by migrants…

Austria plans border fence to manage migrant flow…

Considering Germany Without Merkel.

The ongoing refugee crisis has overwhelmed Merkel. The German chancellor is famous for her ability to sense the direction of public opinion and adjust her policies accordingly. This time, though, many think she may have miscalculated. When asylum seekers began arriving en masse to Germany early this summer, Merkel promised that her country would receive them with open arms — and open borders. And Germans initially supported her decision, which they saw as an opportunity to show solidarity to those in need.

But as the influx of people grew, many Germans started to worry that their government had failed to assess the true magnitude of the crisis. Suddenly, Merkel was no longer the infallible leader who could do no wrong but an impulsive head of government who had put her country in danger. Some began to see the chancellor’s famous statement about refugees — “we can manage” — as proof that Berlin had lost control of the immigration problem.

Are we having a putsch yet?

German Of The Day: Putzig

That means cute. As in funny cute. You know, comical? Like when little kids say something unexpectedly and unintentionally funny? Or, I dunno, like when Germans are completely shocked to find out that their spy agency actually spies on other folks, too?


After angrily upbraiding the U.S. for its electronic spying networks that targeted Germans, the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel has been rocked by two reports in less than a week charging that German intelligence targeted U.S. arms companies, the FBI, a top French diplomat, several international organizations and allied government departments, and even a German diplomat working for the European Union.

“Es kann solche Praktiken zwischen Verbündeten nicht geben.”

Making Unpopular Decisions?

That was never a problem with this guy. And you don’t see that very much anymore, do you? Here or anywhere else. Sorry to see him go.

Helmut Schmidt

During his two terms as chancellor of West Germany, from 1974 through 1982, Schmidt even had trouble convincing his own Social Democratic party to back him. His insistence on maintaining a balanced budget during an economic slowdown irritated his colleagues who were pushing for a stimulus; his push to station U.S. nuclear missiles on German territory angered the many members of the party’s grassroots who preferred to pursue rapprochement with the Soviet Union. Schmidt, for his part, scorned the inspiration-peddling politicians who stoked the idealism of late 1960s and 1970s Germany — and did so, according to Schmidt, in order to feed their own egos.

“If you have visions, you should go see a doctor.”

PS: One of my favorite sayings of his (regarding the treatment of Germany after World War II) is „Wir sind mit einem blauen Auge davongekommen.“ Meaning, we got out of it with a black eye, as in unscathed.

German Of The Day: Geht Nicht Gibt’s Nicht

That means, “it’s not possible is not an option.” And that’s where we are right now with this German refugee crisis, I believe.


What would you think, my fellow Americans, if your fearless leader (let’s call him “The Pres”) were to tell you in a nationally televised address that it simply is not possible for the United States to stop the influx of refugees coming in from, say, Canada? Or, I dunno, Mexico maybe? You would rightly think, well then what’s the point of having the freakin’ border in the first place?

Well, that’s what the world’s most powerful woman has told her countrymen in Germany now on several occasions.

I have not yet figured out why she is saying this – because it obviously is possible – but talk about your self-fullfilling prophecy. If what she really means is that it is not possible for HER to secure her country’s borders (European Union borders clearly do not exit so these are the only borders left), then somebody else after her will. And I think this could happen pretty quickly now, too.

In other words, German of the day coming soon: Putsch.

Schäuble ist am Ende seiner Karriere angelangt. Er hat nichts zu verlieren. Er ist die Schlüsselfigur, der ideale Mann, einen Putsch anzuführen. Der einzige, der es erfolgreich tun könnte. Er wäre ein denkbarer Übergangskanzler im Fall der Fälle.

PS: I think what we’ve got here with Angie is the next Günther Schabowski.

N-S-A, B-N-D, Spy-On-You-And-Me

Our espionage doesn’t stink, right? “Spying among friends? That’s just not done.” But spying on their countries, NGOs and the Vatican? That’s a different matter.


Since October’s revelations, it has emerged that the BND spied on the United States Department of the Interior and the interior ministries of EU member states including Poland, Austria, Denmark and Croatia. The search terms used by the BND in its espionage also included communications lines belonging to US diplomatic outposts in Brussels and the United Nations in New York. The list even included the US State Department’s hotline for travel warnings.

The German intelligence service’s interest wasn’t restricted to state institutions either: It also spied on non-governmental organizations like Care International, Oxfam and the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. In Germany, the BND’s own selector lists included numerous foreign embassies and consulates. The e-mail addresses, telephone numbers and fax numbers of the diplomatic representations of the United States, France, Great Britain, Sweden, Portugal, Greece, Spain, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and even the Vatican were all monitored in this way. Diplomatic facilities are not covered under Article 10 of Germany’s constitution, the Basic Law, which protects German telecommunications participants from such surveillance.

“Ausspähen unter Freunden – das geht gar nicht.”

Politicians Making Promises They Can’t Keep?

This is something new, right? Well, in a way, it is. I mean, usually they make them to the people who elect them. This time they were made to total strangers.


“Frau Merkel gave the insupportable promise that anyone seeking a new life can find one in Germany. She created the impression that the limits of our capacity to absorb them are infinite. She created chaos there where nothing is more important than order and regulation. And this not only in Germany but all over Europe…”

“Instead of this, Frau Merkal should follow the Swedish example and publicly concede that we are unable to cope with these numbers and that the people please stop making their way to us. Secondly we need a modern immigration law. Not someday. Right now.”

Frau Merkel hat das unhaltbare Versprechen gegeben, dass jeder, der ein neues Leben sucht, es in Deutschland finden kann. Sie hat den Eindruck erweckt, die Grenzen unserer Aufnahmefähigkeit seien unendlich. Sie hat dort, wo nichts wichtiger ist als Ordnung und Regeln, Chaos angerichtet. Und zwar nicht nur in Deutschland, sondern auch in Europa…

Frau Merkel sollte stattdessen erstens dem schwedischen Beispiel folgen und öffentlich einräumen, dass wir mit den Zahlen überfordert sind, und die Menschen, bitte, sich nicht auf den Weg zu uns machen. Zweitens brauchen wir ein modernes Einwanderungsgesetz. Nicht irgendwann, sondern jetzt.

German Of The Day: Einladungspolitik

That means “invitation policy” and is a term that was recently coined by Austria’s foreign minister Sebastian Kurz to describe Germany’s refugee policy, or lack of it. Other countries other than us (as in US) don’t get what’s going on here, either.


“I definitely wish,” he said, “that we in Europe, Germany above all, start calling things by their right names and say loud and clear: This invitation policy has got to end.”

The irony is that most Germans wish that now, too but can’t seem to jump over their own shadows (as in deep and dark shadows of their guilt-ridden past).

I feel for them, really. Well, sort of. There is just way too much potential for inner conflict here. Germans can be as well-meaning and guilt-ridden as they want to be but, try as they might to welcome these refugees, they are up against some very powerful primal German character traits here (character disorders?): Xenophobia for one, for instance, being extremely territorial for two (ever seen a German house without a giant fence or hedge around it?) and thirdly, having the pressing need for German order – the most orderly kind of order there is, of course. Something’s got to give here, and guess what? It’s starting to give right now.

„Ich wünsche mir definitiv, dass wir in Europa, vor allem auch Deutschland, die Dinge endlich beim Namen nennen und klipp und klar sagen: Es braucht ein Ende der Einladungspolitik“


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 521 other followers